Welcome

We at Orange County Speech Services are committed to providing top quality speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy to our clients, their families and the Southern California medical community.

Speech Therapists
Elizabeth Nideffer

M.S., SLP, Director OC Speech Services (Speech Therapist)

Elizabeth began her career in a pediatric outpatient hospital setting co-treating with physical and occupational therapists, and has worked extensively in the public school system and in early intervention with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and a variety of deficits in articulation, oral motor, feeding, auditory processing, reading, social/pragmatics and expressive and receptive language.

 

Elizabeth is a licensed Speech & Language Pathologist and Clinical Director/Owner of Orange County Speech Services.  She is certified member of the California Speech and Hearing Association, a lifelong resident of Southern California, and the mother of three beautiful children.

Elizabeth received a Bachelor of Arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology, Linguistics and Speech & Hearing Science) in 2002, and her Masters of Science in Speech Pathology in 2005 from Cal State University, Northridge. She has specialized training and certificates including Stanley Greenspan’s DIR/Floortime therapy approach, the Lindamood-Bell Advanced workshops in auditory comprehension and Visualizing to Verbalizing, Beckman Oral Motor Program techniques, and PROMPT therapy training.

 

Melissa Perales

M.S., CCC-SLP

(Speech Therapist)

Melissa was born and raised in Beacon, New York. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Communicative Disorders at Old Dominion University in Virginia and her Master’s Degree in Communicative Disorders at Mercy College in New York. Melissa completed two internships in residential facilities for students with emotional and behavioral difficulties. She has worked with children and adults with numerous communicative disorders and developmental disabilities including Language and Learning Disability; Emotional Disturbance; A.D.H.D.; Central Auditory Processing Disorder; Autism Spectrum Disorder; Apraxia; Fluency Disorders; Articulation/Phonological Disorders; Dementia and Selective Mutism. Melissa has experience working in private practices and different school settings in San Diego.

Melissa’s experiences both professionally and personally have showed her that all individuals learn. She believes that fairness, compassion, respect and communication with caregivers are essential components to therapy.  Melissa is a licensed speech-language pathologist by the board of California and holds a certificate of clinical competence with the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).

 

With a background in dance and yoga, Melissa is passionate about all forms of movement and believes that they are essential ingredients to a healthy mind, body, and soul. She also enjoys volunteering at different hospitals, libraries and events with her Therapy Dog Goose.

Christine Daffer

B.S., SLPA (Speech Therapist, ABA Specialist)

Christine has worked at Orange County Speech Services since 2015.  She is licensed with the state of California as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant and graduated from Utah State University with a B.S. Degree in Communicative Disorders.

 

Christine works with children on the Autism Spectrum and has been an ABA Specialist for over 10 years and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. She has a unique ability of taking the child’s clinical goals and bringing them into the home and school environment naturally.

Her dedication to her clients is evident in their continued progress. Having raised her 2 grown sons, she loves working with the children at OC Speech Services and spending time with her dogs and cats.

Natalie Smyth

B.A., SLPA (Speech Therapist)

Natalie was born in England and moved to the United States with her family when she was 10 years old. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Communicative Disorders at California State University, Fullerton and her SLPA license at California State University, Northridge.

 

 

Natalie loves working in pediatrics and enjoys seeing the academic improvements that accompany her treatment. She has training in Lindamood-Bell techniques, such as Visualizing and Verbalizing and Seeing Stars. Natalie has an art of bringing reading comprehension and memory techniques to her sessions. She has extensive training in both early intervention and Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Her passion and patience for working with children of all ages allows her to understand their unique needs.  She enjoys time with her family and her little dog London! 

Dana Simon

M.S., CCC-SLP (Speech Therapist)

Dana earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education from Utah State University and her Master’s degree in Communicative Disorders at California State University, Northridge. During her education, Dana completed one of her internships at an adult transition program in Tustin, CA through the Orange County Department of Education. In addition, she completed internships through the Irvine Unified School District.

 

During the first 3 years of her education in the field, Dana worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant for OC Speech Services while she was completing her master’s degree; currently, Dana is completing her clinical fellowship with OC Speech.

Dana has been working with children since she was in high school, volunteering and working as a camp counselor over the summers. Once she started working for Gymboree as a play and music teacher, it was evident to her that her leadership skills shined through when she was interacting with children and enriching their overall emotional, behavioral, and social development.

 

In her free time, Dana enjoys spending time with her family and friends in sunny Southern California, where she was born and raised. 

Alex Smith

B.A., SLPA (Speech Therapist)

Alex graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Communicative Disorders. While attending CSULB she was an active member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association and participated in many programs and activities enhancing the development of her degree.

 

She has volunteered for Head Start Preschool Programs that specialize in early intervention and family education services. She has experience working with people of all ages in the clinical setting, but has a passion for pediatrics and believes it is critical to include the family in treatment. Alex is thrilled to be a part of the OC Speech team!

Ruth Jones

SLPA (Speech Therapist, ABA Specialist)

Ruth Jones grew up in Washington State and moved to California, where she graduated from Biola University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and from Cerritos Community College with her Speech Language Pathology Assistant degree. She has worked with children with Autism, since 2003, as a behavior interventionist and supervisor, working in schools, clinics, and homes in the Long Beach and Los Angeles County School Districts. She specializes in ABA, DTT, and Floor Time. Her experience in speech therapy includes individual and group sessions, with client populations ranging from pediatrics to adulthood, covering area deficits such as the following: oral motor, articulation, phonology, fluency, comprehension, social skills, co-treatment with occupational therapy, and more.

 

In her spare time, she enjoys running, hiking, baking, and hanging out with family and friends.

Erin Nichiporuk

B.S., SLPA (Speech Therapist)

Erin graduated from California Baptist University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Disorders. She completed an internship at an elementary school during her time at CBU. In this internship she found her passion for helping children through speech therapy. Erin has worked in both the private practice and school therapy settings within Southern California. She has experience working within early intervention, articulation and phonological disorders, expressive and receptive language delay, auditory processing disorder, apraxia of speech and fluency disorders. She has treated children with a range of diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, ADHD, and more. Erin is trained in the treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech using the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol.

 

Erin strongly believes each child that comes into the clinic can meet each goal and beyond. She enjoys building relationships with the families she works as well as observing them progress and develop.

Occupational Therapists
Hollie Fassnacht 

COTA (Occupational Therapist) 

Hollie is a local girl who grew up in Costa Mesa, CA. She is the daughter of a CHP officer and an Art Teacher, and in turn has a gift for fairness and creativity that she credits her parents for. She is a full time parent to three fur-babies: a cat and two rescue dogs. She is also the “Fun Aunt” for 2 nieces and 2 nephews. 

 

Hollie started working with children from an early age teaching and coaching swimming. She realized how quickly children can grow when you make activities fun and individualized. Being a local girl, Hollie chose San Diego State for her Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and later on chose to switch careers to Occupational Therapy and Graduated from the program at SAC in 2010.

 

Hollie has experience with school based and clinic based OT and has experience in Sensory Integration, Feeding Intervention, Hand Writing Without Tears and Early Intervention.

Rachel Lawrence

MOT, OTR/L (Occupational Therapist)

Rachel Lawrence graduated with her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Loma Linda University. She is a driven Occupational Therapist with clinical skills in assessing client strengths and barriers, identifying client centered goals, and developing creative treatment plans to increase independence and improve quality of life.

 

During her time at Loma Linda, Rachel participated in a student team who designed a state of the art sensory room for Rim of the World Unified School District, furthering her experience in sensory integration. Her experience includes studying child development for one year in Denmark and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has a specialized training in Beckman-Oral Motor Protocol including assessment, intervention, and compensatory handling techniques.

Taylor Sheldrick

MS, OTR/L (Occupational Therapist)

Taylor grew up in Seattle,  Washington and moved to California when she was recruited to the California State University, Fullerton NCAA Gymnastics team.  She received her bachelors from CSUF and her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Stanbridge University.  She has a background as an Early Childhood Specialist teaching children between the ages of 18 months to 4 years. She has always known her love for the pediatric setting, however, has experience with older adults as well. She participated in a study that determined the effectiveness of Scuba Diving paired with Occupational Therapy on Veterans diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She also has experience in working at Skilled Nursing Facilities with older adults with a variety of diagnoses including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, joint replacement, heart disease, and feeding difficulties. 

 

She continues to follow her passion in the pediatric setting where she has experience with Autism, feeding difficulties including feeding tubes, sensory processing, early intervention,  and specialized training n Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding, a trans-disciplinary program for assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties. In her spare time, Taylor enjoys taking her dog to the beach, training for half marathons, hiking, and spending time with her family. 

Physical Therapists
Kimberly Iacobazzi

 PT, DPT (Physical Therapist)

Kimberly was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, where she experienced physical therapy firsthand after a high school track injury. After intensive physical therapy, she went on to become a state champion track athlete. It was at that moment she knew she wanted to join the physical therapy profession. Kimberly received her B.S. in Kinesiology from San Diego State University in 2014 and went on to receive her Doctorate in physical therapy from Chapman University in 2017. Kimberly has fallen in love with the pediatric setting. She has worked with children from ages 0-21 years, with diagnoses such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, spinal cord injury and muscular dystrophy. She has experience in clinic, early intervention, in-home, and school based models of pediatric physical therapy. Kimberly also has extensive experience in medical equipment, assessing, adjusting and ordering the appropriate device to allow her patients to be as independent and safe as possible. She emphasizes current evidence-based practice in all of her treatment plans and is committed to providing the highest standard of care for her patients, stressing family-centered care. Kimberly encourages caregiver involvement as often as possible to allow for children to achieve their optimal potential not only in the clinic, but also at home and in the community.

 

Kimberly enjoys spending her free time outdoors, practicing yoga, or volunteering at such organizations as Ability Ballet and Therapeutic Dance Intervention for Children with Cerebral Palsy.

Office / Administration
Kristyn Greer

Office Manager/ B.A., SLPA (Speech Therapist)

Kristyn joined the OCSS team in September 2014. She earned her Bachelors degree in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton. She is currently working as our office manager and will soon be a speech therapist as well. 

 

Kristyn makes our families feel welcome every time they call or walk into the waiting room. She makes scheduling seamless and does her best to accommodate both the families requests and therapists needs.  Kristyn is always happy to help with any needs and has a positive attitude!

Casey Shandor

Lead Office Administrator

Casey joined the OC Speech administrative team in September 2017. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton. She loves working and learning in the pediatric clinic enviornment and hopes to become a pediatric physical therapist in the future.

 

Casey enjoys assisting the families served by Orange County Speech Services and helping them to navigate the various services they need. She is a great asset to the OC Speech team, providing excellent customer service skills to families, both face to face and over the telephone. She is full energy and enjoys uplifting any patients and work members alike. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, spending time with family and friends, yoga, and going the beach. 

Anaya Ragland

B.A., Office Administrator

Anaya joined the Orange County Speech Services administrative team in February, 2019.  She was born and raised in Southern California, however she moved to Atlanta, Georgia to complete her Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. Since graduating in the Fall of 2015, she has pursued a career in the legal field until recently when she began her Master's in Business Administration at California State University, Long Beach. Anaya has always enjoyed working with children - during her undergrad Anaya worked as a swim coach for the Boys & Girls Club, and spent two years as a nanny for a lovely family. 

 

Anaya enjoys working in a field with a purpose to help others and assisting our rapidly growing company as we find better ways to serve the Orange County community. She takes pleasure in developing new ideas to help facilitate a bridge between the OCSS staff and the amazing families that we service. Anaya provides excellent customer service, and is always happy to help our clients with all of their needs. You will most likely find Anaya with a smile on her face, providing a cheerful atmosphere with lots of laughter. In her free time, Anaya enjoys bike riding at the beach, Laker games, traveling with friends and family, and watching a simple romantic comedy every now and then.

Our Team

Hannah Brisson

M.S., CCC-SLP (Speech Therapist)

Hannah earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Biola University and her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Longwood University in Virginia. Hannah has worked with children and adults with numerous medical conditions, communicative disorders, and developmental disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Language Delay, Fluency Disorders, Articulation/Phonological Disorders, Down Syndrome, Apraxia, Dysarthria, Aphasia, and Dysphagia. 

 

Hannah has experience working in clinics, hospitals, and schools and especially loves working with children and being part of a multidisciplinary team to provide the best care possible for children and their families. Hannah is so excited to be a part of the team at OC Speech! 

 

In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, reading, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family.

© 2019 by OC SPEECH SERVICES

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